By Peter High, published on Forbes
A retired four-star general, Stanley McChrystal is the former commander of US and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) Afghanistan and the former commander of the nation’s premier military counter-terrorism force, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He is best known for developing and implementing a comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, and for creating a cohesive counter-terrorism organization that revolutionized the interagency operating culture. He will be the first to admit that his retirement did not transpire as planned, but the impact that he has had as a private citizen has also been profound.
In 2001, McChrystal founded the McChrystal Group, a consultancy that provides “innovative leadership solutions to American businesses in order to help them transform and succeed in challenging, dynamic environments,” as his site notes. In that role, he has spent considerable time with CEOs across the private sector, helping them understand that the changes he enacted in the military are quite similar to the changes necessary in the business world: silos need to be eliminated, information must flow more freely across the enterprise, ecosystems must be curated carefully and cared for, and companies must strive to innovate while remaining cognizant of an ever expanding threat landscape.
In 2013, McChrystal published his memoir, My Share of the Task, detailing his years in the military, and in 2015, he published Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, describing how the lessons of his military experience apply more broadly. Both books were New York Times bestsellers. He has also joined the boards of JetBlue and Navistar International.
McChrystal describes all of the above and more in this far ranging interview.